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Creating a Free Drupal Gardens Site

If you've found yourself stumbling through Drupal, still unsure whether it's for you, Drupal Gardens may be exactly what you're looking for. Drupal Gardens is a commercial website where you can find Drupal preinstalled for you, great documentation, and nifty features that make building and customizing a site incredibly easy and a basic site is free!

Signing up for a site is easy:

  1. Browse to DrupalGardens.com.

    This is the Drupal Gardens website.

    image0.jpg
  2. Click the Create a Free Site button.

    The Create the Next Social Phenomenon page appears, where you enter your contact information and basic information about your site.

    image1.jpg
  3. In the Site URL text box, enter a name for your site.

    The Site URL will be the address people browse to when they visit your site. This example, uses lynnwrites.drupalgardens.com.

  4. Enter a username and password in the Username and Password text boxes, respectively.

  5. Enter your e-mail address in the Email Address text box.

  6. In the Word Verification text box, type the letters you see beside the text box.

  7. Click Continue.

    At this point, you have to choose a template or pick specific features, pages, and blocks that you want on your site.

    image2.jpg

The following list describes the available templates you can choose from. You can always change your mind later, but this tells Drupal Gardens about the basic things that should appear on your site. The types of templates are

  • Campaign: If you're trying to build a community to talk about an idea or thing, this is a good choice. The Campaign template includes lots of features, such as mailing lists, for getting your message out there to other people. It also includes ways for your users to follow and share your content, as well as comments and forums.

    For example, if you are creating a site devoted to your hobby of collecting toilet seats used by famous people, this is the kind of site you want, where other toilet-seat collectors can join you to discuss this obscure hobby. The settings for the Campaign template are shown.

    image3.jpg
  • Product: Say you manufacture the best zombie protection kits, ever. You know there's a market, and you want your site to advertise your kits for you. Choose the Product template. This template gives you excellent tools for spreading the word about your kits before the zombie apocalypse arrives. It includes product specific goodies, like Testimonials, Customers, and Product Feature blocks.

    image4.jpg
  • Blog: Unless you've never used the Internet, you know what a blog site is. Typically, a blog is content about a topic that is frequently updated, sometimes daily. Blog entries range from personal stories to corporate reports on breaking news about something that affects their business. To work, blogs require three features:

    • An easy way to post information

    • Tools to let readers spread the word

    • Places for site visitors to express their own opinions on the blog topics

    Drupal Gardens blog templates feature social media "spread the word" tools.

    image5.jpg
  • Create your own template: Are you creating something that doesn't fit in any of the three categories listed here? Are you creating a product site where you sell your matchboxes, but you also want it to be a site where people can discuss matchboxes, and a blog where you can share your latest matchbox acquisitions? Choose Custom.

    This displays features, pages, and blocks that are all turned off. Turn on the ones you want on your site.

    image6.jpg

To get started, choose the blog template and click Create Site. As soon as you create your site, you'll get an onscreen warning that says:

Check your e-mail to complete registration. An e-mail has been sent to
youremailaddress@youremailaccount.com.
Click the link in the message by [date] to avoid having your account and
site deleted.

Be sure you confirm that you created this account by going to your e-mail account, opening the message, and clicking the Confirmation link.

Congratulations! Your site is now live and online. If you browse to your URL, you will see sample content that Drupal Gardens has posted to your site.

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